Government Releases Special Tourism Grants to Aid Ailing Sector
The Indonesian government has made sure to take care of the tourism industries affected by the pandemic. In October 2020, it released Rp 3.3-trillion worth of special tourism grants to aid the regional governments and businesses rejuvenating the tourism industry.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said that the special tourism grants are under the National Economic Recovery Program.
He said that the special tourism grants aim to provide funds to the regional governments, hotels, and restaurants, which are suffering from income decrease and financial challenges. These situations were expected, given that many economies slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, the Indonesian official said special tourism grants are expected to be disbursed across 101 districts and cities.
The Government will give the majority of 70 percent of the special tourism grants to hotels and restaurants based on their realized taxes in 2019. Meanwhile, the remaining 30 percent is allocated to address coronavirus pandemic’s economic and social impact.
With the grants expected to be fully disbursed by December 2020, Kusubandio hopes that the funding would help implement streamlined health protocols based on the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability guidelines.
The Indonesian official added that the financing relief was only the first step towards reviving the tourism sector.
Dealing with the Indonesian Climate
However, it appears that the pandemic is just one of the concerns of the tourism sector in Indonesia.
According to a study by the Journal of Cleaner Production, the climate is affecting the industry. Its study reveals that a one percent increase in temperature and relative humidity can mean a decline in foreign tourist arrivals of 1.37 percent and 0.59 percent, respectively.
The research was based on data collected from international tourists that visited different Indonesian provinces from 2008 to 2018.
Over 16 million foreign tourists coming from different countries, including Australia and China, visited Indonesia. It is a little higher compared to the 15.81 million tourist arrivals recorded in 2018.
Breaking down the figure, the data shows that Jakarta recorded a 14.05-percent decline in tourist arrivals in 2019 from the previous year. This, as Indonesia’s Bali island, saw a 3.55-percent uptick in foreign tourist numbers.
Reviving the Tourism Sector Amid the Pandemic
Apart from giving special tourism grants, many things could be done to help Indonesia’s tourism sector.
Experts are advising the airports, airlines, and travel providers to enforce strict safety and hygiene protocols. It is to assure that the travelers can go about their trip safely and with minimal contact with other onboarding people.
Also, the demand for automated services in airports is increasing. They are expected to install touchless check-in kiosks, facial recognition technology, and airport check-in, among others. By doing so, experts believe airports are minimizing health risks while maximizing efficiency.
The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association and the Indonesia National Air Carriers Association, meanwhile, joined forces recently to offer attractive travel packages to revive local consumption.
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